This September Feeding South Dakota, together with the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks, will mobilize across all 50 states in an effort to bring an end to hunger.
Hunger Action Month is designed to inspire people to take action and raise awareness of the fact that 42 million Americans, including 13 million children, are food insecure, according to the USDA.
In South Dakota, more than 100,000 people struggle with hunger and may not know where they’ll find their next meal. That number includes one in six kids who may not have enough to eat.
September marks the tenth year the Feeding America network of food banks has organized this annual call to action and tenth year that Feeding South Dakota has participated in the Hunger Action Month movement. This year the campaign will focus on the strong connections between hunger and health.
The Hunger Action Month 2017 campaign asks people to consider how it must feel to live with an empty stomach, which puts a healthy life and a promising future at risk.
“It is so vitally important for individuals to have adequate access to nutritious foods including protein, dairy, fruits and vegetables. From the youngest to the most mature of our South Dakota friends and neighbors, healthy eating plays such an important role to academic success, mental well-being and success in the workplace,” said Matt Gassen, CEO, Feeding South Dakota.
“I’ve spent many days on the road this past year, visiting food banks, food pantries, and meal programs and meeting people who are facing hunger,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “I’ve seen firsthand the anguish that food insecurity and hunger can cause. It is always heartbreaking to meet a mother or father who fears that they will not be able to feed their children. They know that their children cannot reach their full potential if they don’t have enough to eat.”
Hunger Action Day®, the second Thursday in September, is a day where efforts across the country are focused for greater impact.
This year, on September 14th, Feeding South Dakota asks supporters to share what they couldn’t do without adequate nutrition by writing on an empty paper plate, “On an empty stomach I can’t ______,” and filling in the blank with something they couldn’t achieve without the nutrition we need to thrive. Residents are also encouraged to wear orange on this day, the official color of hunger.
Photos can be posted to social media with #HungerActionMonth, @FeedingSouthDakota and @FeedingAmerica to join the conversation.
Statewide, Governor Dennis Daugaard has issued an Executive Proclamation to reflect that Thursday, September 14th, 2017 is “Hunger Action Day” in South Dakota.
This proclamation signifies the importance that hunger awareness has in all 66 counties in South Dakota and the support Governor Daugaard grants Feeding South Dakota to continue to feed those who are struggling with food insecurity.
In Sioux Falls, Feeding South Dakota will partner with Downtown Sioux Falls at their First Friday Block Party at 8th & Railroad on Friday, September 1st. Feeding South Dakota staff will be available to discuss the issue of hunger in our state as well as have children’s activities including rock painting, balloon creations from “Twisted Chick” and glow lights.
For more information, check out the attached link.